As China grows in strength and power, both the UK and the US are beginning to become apprehensive about Beijing’s assertive foreign policy. After the US warned China about ties with its neighbours, the UK has now also sent a ‘crystal clear’ message to the communist nation.
MI5, the British spy agency, revealed that an agent of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was secretly infiltrating the British Parliament and meddling in British politics. An MI5 warning alleges that Christine Ching Kui Lee, a long-time UK-based lawyer, for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had “linked” with incumbent and potential British MPs.
MI5 said anyone in contact with Li should “be aware of her connection” and her “activity to advance the CCP agenda”. He said it was “a serious concern” and called for Lee’s deportation.
Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in the UK rejected MI5’s claims, saying: “China always adheres to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. We have no need and never try to ‘buy influence’ in a foreign parliament. We firmly oppose the trick of libel and intimidation of the Chinese community in the UK.”
Tensions have been high at the India-China border in the eastern region of Ladakh for more than a year and a half. A number of military talks at different levels have been held between the two countries, but neither of them has been able to resolve the dispute.
Amid these constant tensions at the border, Washington warned Beijing that the “threats” China posed to its neighbors were a major concern. It added that the US will always “stand by its partner countries”. This statement came at a time when India and China announced their 14e military-level talks.
Talks took place on Wednesday at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border between the countries.
“The two sides also agreed to consolidate the previous achievements and make effective efforts to maintain ground security and stability in the Western sector, including during the winter,” the statement said, as published by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Defence.
The parties also agreed to maintain close contact and dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and to find solutions to other problems that will satisfy both countries.
The officials said the next round of talks “should take place at the earliest”.
The previous round of talks took place in October 2021 and proved fruitless. The Indian Defense Ministry said Chinese negotiators rejected its call to restore peace in the LAC area. Before that, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin described the situation at the border as stable and added that the parties are keeping in touch through military and diplomatic channels.
Chinese territorial disputes
In addition to India, China’s relations with Taiwan have deteriorated sharply in recent years. The communist nation claims Taiwan as part of mainland China while the island calls itself a sovereign country.
Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have increased in recent months as dozens of Chinese warplanes breached Taiwan’s airspace. Five fighter jets from China recently re-entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), raising tensions.
China’s growing military influence in the Indo-Pacific region has become a major concern for several countries, including India and the US, as they demand free and open movement in this region. The communist country is claiming its rights to the disputed territory of the South China Sea, which is also claimed by other countries such as Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
China has set up military bases and built artificial islands in this area, circumventing these countries’ claims. Beijing also has an ongoing territorial dispute with Tokyo in the East China Sea over a group of uninhabited islands known as Japan’s Senkaku Islands and China’s Diaoyu Islands.
The US provides support to its regional allies in this region. The country has sent its warplanes to assert its territorial claims over the disputed area. The US also claims it wants peace and stability in the region to be maintained.
It says its efforts to ensure freedom of movement in the South China Sea are in line with international law and also oppose resolving any disputes involving the use of force. There have been several instances where tensions between China and the US have escalated following statements by the latter regarding China’s neighbours.
American warning to China
Ahead of the 14e During military-level talks between India and China, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US was closely monitoring the issue.
In response to a question posed at a news conference on Jan. 11 about China’s “aggressive” stance on the border with India, Psaki said that “the US is closely monitoring the situation at the India-China border”. “We support a negotiated and peaceful solution to the border dispute,” she added.
“We have a clear position on how we see Beijing’s behavior in this region and around the world. We believe that this could destabilize the situation and we condemn the attempts of the People’s Republic of China to threaten its neighbours. I was concerned about it,” explained Psaki. “We will assist our partners in this matter”.
A number of attempts have been made to resolve the dispute between India and China through military-level talks between the countries. the 13e round of talks on October 10, 2021, but they were not fruitful.
After the talks ended, a number of “positive suggestions” by the Indian military were frowned upon by China, PTI officials said, citing officials. They also added that such suggestions or ideas were not proposed by China and that is why the two sides were unable to “go forward”.
On November 18, India and China held a virtual dialogue at diplomatic level. It was during this dialogue that the two countries decided toe round of military-level talks so that the disengagement process can be properly completed in the disputed eastern region of Ladakh.
The border dispute between India and China
The conflict between the militaries of India and China in the eastern area of Ladakh began on May 5, 2020. Just over a month later, on June 15, there was a clash between the soldiers of the two militaries in the Galwan Valley that left several soldiers on both sides lost their lives.
After the skirmish in Galwan Valley, several rounds of talks were held between the representatives of both countries. The withdrawal process began in February 2021, shortly after a meeting between the foreign ministers of India and China.
Finally, the two countries completed the full withdrawal process of the north and south shores of Pangong Lake and Gogra area, such as reported by the Hindu.
At present, some 50 to 60 thousand troops from both countries are stationed in the sensitive sector of the LAC (Line of Actual Control). The 3,440 km long disputed Himalayan border, which sparked the 1962 Sino-Indian War, remains a major source of tension between the two nuclear-armed neighbors.